Flu Season Remains Mostly Green
The best news concerning the 2023-2024 flu season in the United States is that most people have yet to be impacted by an influenza virus.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six states reported a moderate level of seasonal flu cases as of November 3, 2023, and two areas (Alaska and Puerto Rico) reported more intensive influenza outbreaks.
The CDC anticipates that the upcoming fall and winter respiratory disease season will likely result in a similar number of hospitalizations as last season.
However, during week #43, the first influenza-associated pediatric death occurring during the 2023-24 season was reported.
Additionally, FluView Interactive reported 14 total deaths related to influenza this flu season.
From a city perspective, the Walgreens Flu Index ranked the top ten areas most effective by the flu for last week. These cities are as follows:
- Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
- Lafayette, La.
- Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
- Puerto Rico
- New Orleans, La.
- Houston, Texas
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- Montgomery-Selma, Ala.
- El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.)
From a global perspective, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published Influenza Update N° 457, indicating that influenza detections remained low, with activity in the temperate Northern Hemisphere and Western and Eastern Asia.
Most importantly, the WHO has prequalified quadrivalent influenza vaccines in 2023 and says that influenza vaccines do not cause seasonal flu since they are made with either killed or weakened viruses.
The CDC reported that as of October 28, 2023, about 145 million flu shots had been distributed in the US. These influenza vaccines are generally available at health clinics and pharmacies.